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How retailers can enhance their online performance in 3 steps

14 July 2020

By Drew Smith

Drew is the Director of Product Strategy at Upp and focuses on how technology can help brands and retailers deliver what their customers want.

Retail Technology Online Sales

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Enhance your online performance in 3 steps

More people are shopping from their homes than ever before (in fact, some for the first time). Needless to say, it’s highlighted the importance of being online as a retailer, especially for those who have never prioritised it before.

That means retailers need to enhance their online performance in the right ways, with a focus on increasing revenue, improving margins and by ensuring that although teams may have differing objectives, they are all aligned to one overarching strategy. This article will address how these focuses, paired with the right AI-driven technology, can help optimise your online operations, improving profitability and growth.

Step 1: Consider your main objectives 

When you’re trying to optimise your online presence, it’s critical each department in your company aligns around the same key objectives. You also need to consider how you’ll measure your success.  Each individual department will be aiming to achieve and measure these objectives through the use of varying goals — for example, the marketing team may look at ROAS, while the ecommerce team may pay more attention to return rates. No matter the differences in KPIs though, each department should be looking at goals that help them achieve the business’ overall objectives. And as mentioned, these goals should be aligned around profitability. 

Here are some actions you can take that will help set you up for success in a competitive marketplace:

How to achieve your objectives

There are a variety of ways to achieve your retail objectives and all of these strategies will need to be tailored to your individual business. However, some main ways to consider meeting these goals include: 

  • Gaining visibility/centralising your product data (more on that in the next section)
  • Optimising your products on the right channels
  • Understanding changing consumer behaviour, and improving the customer experience across their purchase journey

To summarise: Align your teams around an overarching strategy. Each individual team should be working towards that overall goal using the right metrics to drive success, and this can be more easily achieved with the right AI tools which will help you centralise data and gain greater visibility of your performance. Seeing the bigger picture will help teams have a better understanding of what your customers are looking for. The right AI tech — such as Upp — can then provide you with actionable insights using performance data, business metrics and trend data to enhance your operations. 

Step 2: Focus on margin

Your margin is vital to the overall health of your business. It can help retailers to understand their performance and the overall health of the business. Whilst revenue remains an important metric that retailers look at when evaluating growth, Margin performance should not be neglected in the process — it’s the key measure of company success. There’s a fine balance that your retailer needs to find between revenue and margin. It is vital that teams are making decisions that not only help them achieve their departmental KPIs, but also ensure that they are considering the impact on profitability. 

product margin performance

Product performance at SKU level

You need to understand your data on a granular level which means understanding product performance at SKU level. This in turn will help you better understand your margin. Having this SKU level margin visibility will help you understand which products are/aren’t performing well. This is especially important for your performance marketing team looking at your Google Shopping performance and gaining visibility of products that are in the negative margin. Then you need to decide how you will tackle these products. 

By learning this information, you can also understand why products are in the negative margin and what costs from other departments are impacting this. Most retailers don't have this insight which is crucial for making decisions and improving campaigns, but this is a great way to gain the upper hand with your competitors. So how do you get this insight into your data? 

Centralise your data

Centralising your data will allow you to have better visibility over your business performance, which will help you make strategic decisions in order to increase sales. Having your product performance data in a central place means that teams can have full visibility to ensure they’re on the right track and aligned around the metrics that drive success. 

The best way to gain a clear picture of your margin is to use the right AI-driven software. This software can help you centralise data in a way that allows departments to look at both individual metrics that they should strive towards as well as see how other departments are performing. This stops data from becoming siloed and departments can work together to make informed decisions. 

Upp is a great AI-driven tool that you can use to accomplish this. It even gleans actionable insights centred around your overarching strategy, in order to improve profitability and growth. Unless your teams are aligned on unified objectives, it will end up creating a confusing customer experience rather than a pleasant one.

Step 3: Optimise your Product Listings

Optimising product listings with a high-quality description, engaging product copy and high-resolution images that are optimised for each channel will help you stand out and give you the edge over your competitors. The way you optimise your listings for Google Shopping will be different from Amazon as the the channel requirements differ. If you don’t get this right, your online performance will suffer. AI-driven software can help you do this, and can ensure your listings are fully compliant for each channel

The right AI-driven platform can also help you achieve this as it allows you to gain maximum visibility over your data and provides you with the right actionable insights based on your customers’ needs. This helps you optimise your product information so that it is seen even earlier in the user’s buyer journey. 

Now is the time to invest in AI-driven software that takes the legwork out of optimising your content, product listings and online presence across your various channels. Software like Upp does that and more…  

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AI-powered software makes optimisation easy

The right AI software can make collecting the data and actionable insights you need to optimise your site and online presence easy by providing you with increased margin visibility in one centralised location. 

For example, Upp can provide you with SKU-Level Google Shopping Campaign insights that will help you optimise your listings for both conversions and visibility (plus offering the right products in the first place). 

Invest in the right technology right now to help enhance your online presence, increase revenue and improve profitability. 

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